Sunday, December 23, 2007

That Night

That night, just a few days before Christmas, I decided to make pizza for the family. Yes, it does take longer to heat up the oven in December than in July, here in Maine. Imagine this scenario:
It is dark, 6:00 P.M. It is snowing and also raining, and I'm out there fumbling around with my flashlight dealing with the oven.
The first pizza went in, and the oven was not hot enough so I just pushed the pizza into the fire, giving it to the fire gods, went into the house and prepared another. I brought the second one out, holding it on my wooden peel with my left hand while I messed with the fire with my other hand. The pizza slide off the peel, face down into the snow. I scooped it up, and it didn't seem worse for wear, so it went into the fire. Not bad, the family was pleased, but they didn't know about "the fall."
The next pizza was baking brilliantly, and then suddenly there was a thud. A fiery log fell right on top of it, but because I am very fast, I rolled it off and the pizza was saved.
The remaining pizzas baked without incident, but I did manage to spill my glass of wine on the rug. Breadhunter

Winter Fire


Earth ovens work fine in the winter, but it's definitely a hassle getting the baking supplies in and out of the house. All earth ovens need to be protected from rain and snow. This one has a copper cover for protection, and the wide green stripes probably have something to do with oxidation. Breadhunter

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mouse Hole To Oblivion

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oven Complete



Richard's oven all fired up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Richard Builds An Earth Oven


Sand Mold complete. The work progresses.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oven Twist

If you build an earth oven (and I hope you do) you'll have to mix up some mud. This is the way to do it.

video

pita bread

Here's a short video where you can see the dramatic flat bread expansion of the pita bread in an earth oven. Breadhunter
video

Earth Ovens



Do you have any interest in constructing an earth oven in your backyard? If yes, then check out Earth Oven Adventure, available from my website: www.breadhunter.com.
It won't take long to construct, and you'll be baking really terrific pizzas and breads. Here's the front and back cover of the book

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Breadhunter's storefront

To see Breadhunter's books, go here: http://stores.lulu.com/mannyrivers

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ready For The Oven


Knowing exactly when your dough is ready for baking takes quite a bit of practice. This photo shows risen dough in a basket that is ready to bake.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sourdough Failures


The primary cause of sourdough bread failures is the starter. If your starter is not robust, not bubbling, and basically lifeless, then your bread is doomed to failure. Your starter should look something like the one in the photo.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Work Of The Devil?

Whoever said white flour is the work of the devil, a pernicious foodstuff never to be used? Probably some food fascist.
I have been using unbleached white flour to make incredible sourdough starter for more years than I can count. So there must be something right about it.

Too Much Bread?

Justine wrote me today and said that she and her husband could not eat her breads before they would spoil and wanted to know what to do.
There are several answers to this question, but a simple one is to allow the fresh loaf to cool after it has been taken from the oven. Cut it in a half and save one half on your counter to be eaten fresh, and cut the other half into slices and freeze. Whenever you choose, take a frozen slice from the freezer and pop right into the toaster (no defrosting required), and you'll have a superb slice of toast.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

For Beginners


Anyone out there having problems with their sourdough breads?
Maybe I can help. You can make breads as beautiful as this one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All Becomes One

I have used many different starters, and they have had different characteristics, but after a period of time, they all become the same. The "established" wisdom is that they will retain their unique characteristics, and I often wonder where the "established" wisdom comes from. It could be that they take on the characteristics of the environment where they reside. Probably they really are shape shifters.

the process is fixed

Once beginning the sourdough process to make a loaf of bread, it is difficult to speed up the process or retard it. You can try, but the results may not be very satisfying. There is a real life force in the sourdough, and you have set it into being. To make the best loaf, you really have to follow the directions you're receiving from the bread to be.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Earth Oven Adventure



Here are the covers from my new book. Should be available before Christmas. Go to:
http://www.breadhunter.com for more information